Nine dead in US private jet crash

A screenshot of the crash site, filmed by a local resident.
A screenshot of the crash site, filmed by a local resident.YOUTUBE

CHICAGO (AFP) - Nine people including seven employees of the same Florida firm were killed when a private jet crashed into an apartment building in the American midwest, officials said Wednesday.

The Hawker H25 business jet crashed on approach to the airport in Akron, Ohio, on  Tuesday, killing everyone on board: the pilot, copilot, and seven passengers, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Pebb Enterprises, a real estate company based in Boca Raton, Florida, confirmed that the accident "took the lives of two principals and five employees."

"Our hearts are broken this morning with the news of the tragic accident," it said in a statement.

No one on the ground was injured in the crash, according to Staff Lieutenant Bill Haymaker of the Highway Patrol, although 11 families were displaced.

"The main building that was struck, there was no occupants at the time so we are very fortunate," Haymaker said.

"As far as the occupants of the plane, the recovery process is going to be lengthy in time," he added.

The Federal Aviation Administration said investigators were on site, along with a team from the National Transportation Safety Board, which will lead the probe.

Governor John Kasich, who is running as a Republican candidate in the presidential primaries for 2016, said on Twitter that his "thoughts and prayers are with the family members of those involved in this tragic plane crash in Akron."